Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Gallery of May Photos: Around Here

May is a gorgeous month ... though the shift to greenery and blossoms can come as a bit of a surprise--winter lasts such a long time.  But then winter's soon forgotten and we immerse ourselves in warm,  pretty days.  Here are a few happy reminders of what May has been like around here.

Mother's Day brunch treat

Farm stand pots

With a glimpse of the Connecticut River in the background

(Next time:  photos from excursions around Southern Vermont.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How About ... ?

  • When opening envelopes that contain monthly bills, how about not being given a lot of extraneous slips of paper that you just have to toss, lamenting the waste.
  • When asking a man a question about something, how about not having him go into a long spiel about how the thing was made--with talk about gaskets, fuel lines, etc. 
  • When getting catalogs in the mail, how about not receiving them so far in advance that it's still (let's say) spring when you get the late-summer/early-fall version.
  • How about having the opportunity to get/use a Simple Computer, not one with thousands of options that you have no intention of ever looking at.  So, an ala carte version.
  • Ditto the selection (and therefore the cost) of cable TV channels. I never watch sports. Okay, maybe once every four years, I might pay attention to some of the winter Olympics, but that's all.  But I pay a price as if I watch sports by the hour.  As it is, I don't even watch many channels.  Only a very few. So why not give me an ala carte option and let me select the channels I want to watch and then cut out the rest so that my monthly bill will be considerably less!
  • When talking with someone (usually in sales or service), how about not having them answer the question they think you're going to ask, but actually paying attention to the question you ARE asking.
  • Or, if they don't know the answer, how about not having them beat around the bush with the obvious.  ("If your indicator light comes on and you don't know if it's for a flat tire or low tire pressure, just go to the nearest gas station and ask them.")  (Well, of course, but that implies that gas stations of that nature still exist, not simply the sort where you go in and buy a bag of chips.  If you were to ask a car-related question, you can imagine the look you'd get from the person behind the cash register.)
  • How about having the town's regular old car wash back in service, not the new self-serve kind that you have to figure how to use and then hope you don't get stuck inside because you accidentally did something involving the wrong button.
  • Well, you get the picture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

An Experiment

Some months ago when I became particularly disgruntled with both the national and world scenes, I decided to turn to things that gave me energy rather than depleted it.  Consciously not pay attention to the shenanigans going on or fill myself with a mindset that would just twist me up like a wet dish cloth.  So I opened cook books for inspiring (and simple) dishes to make.  I bought yarn and knit a winter scarf for a friend.  I decided to consider some future home/garden improvements.  Maybe a new bathroom floor ... a paint job in a bedroom ... a labyrinth in the garden.  I also worked on cleaning out old files, doing research on prospective blog projects, reading more poetry ... and ... trying my hand at writing haiku.

Haiku, as you know, is a Japanese-style poem of three lines using only seventeen syllables--five in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last.  I'd never written haiku, so this would be an experiment.  But I also wanted to have fun with it and not get too fussy by feeling I absolutely had to adhere to the five-seven-five structure.  If I deviated a bit here and there, well then, I deviated.

     January 2016

     Now, with winter,
     Ice-crusted apples still on the tree
     Fall to the ground

     Looking Out into the Garden After a Winter Storm

     As if in a bath
     Of bubbles, the Buddha sits
     Half covered in snow

     A Winter Afternoon

     A full-bodied red
     Like Homer's wine-dark sea
     Fills my Riedel glass

     Looking Out the Train Window in Late February
     Along the Mohawk River

     Ducks at river's edge
     Gather beside last ice chunks
     To sun in silence

     April No-Fool

     Gloomy but warmish
     April wisps into being
     Whoop-dee-do!  Welcome!

     April 28th

     Pink white blue purple
     Violets carpet the grass.
     For red, a cardinal

     How Emily Carr, the Canadian Artist,
     Compares Old Age to Fruit on a Tree

     Ripe is good, yes, ripe
     Just not so rotten you fall
    And land with a squish